“No amount of tweaking over the decades, from adding scholarships to mandating philanthropy, could obscure its bottom line,” she said. “Regardless of how smart or talented a woman is, she’s a loser without the one thing she can’t control or achieve: beauty.”
Tuesday’s announcement was quickly added to the lengthy list of stunning changes that have reverberated through Hollywood, politics and workplaces around the world in the wake of #MeToo. It was a ripple effect, so to speak — one that expanded the conversation from sexual harassment to the larger way that women’s bodies are viewed and consumed.
Still, it seemed like a small step to some.
“If Miss America wants to get out of the sexism game, it should probably end Miss America,” the writer Jill Filipovic posted on Twitter.
“Sure, it’s a relatively good thing that in 2018 this organization has realized it’s dehumanizing to compare and judge women’s bodies in front of a vast, international audience,” said Julie Zeilinger, the founder of a feminist blog called FBomb. “But when Gretchen Carlson says we are ‘not going to judge you on your outward appearance,’ the implication is that the competition will still judge women — just not by measures of blatant physical objectification.”
As for the women who threw bras and girdles into the garbage can on the Atlantic City boardwalk a half-century ago — and then infiltrated the event itself, draping a giant bedsheet from the balcony that read “Women’s Liberation” — they watched with wonder, and a healthy dose of skepticism.
“What can I say?” said one of them, Robin Morgan, the author of more than 20 books of poetry and nonfiction, including the 1970 anthology “Sisterhood Is Powerful.” “After 50 years, this is a start.”